Epstein pilot testifies Maxwell was 'number two' in operation

A former pilot for deceased financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein testified on Tuesday that Ghislaine Maxwell was "number two" among his employees, Reuters reported.

Pilot Lawrence Visoski, who is testifying for the government at Maxwell's sex-abuse trial in Manhattan, said that the 59-year-old British socialite would often contact him to schedule flights for Epstein.

"Ms. Maxwell was number two. Mr. Epstein was a big number one," Visoski told jurors, per Reuters. "She was the one that pretty much handled most of the finance, my expenses, spending in the office," he added.

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However, Visoski said he did not see Epstein engage in wrongdoing with minors on his private planes, according to The Guardian.

The pilot also testified that he flew Epstein and his guests to and from his properties in New York, Florida, New Mexico, Paris and Caribbean islands.

He also said he flew former President Clinton and Prince Andrew, a younger brother of Prince Charles. Donald TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger welcomes baby boy Tennessee lawmaker presents self-defense bill in 'honor' of Kyle Rittenhouse Five things to know about the New York AG's pursuit of Trump MORE also flew on Epstein’s plane prior to being president, Visoski said, according to The Guardian.

Visoki said he and Maxwell met frequently. “We interacted quite often. She was on a lot of the flights,” The Guardian reported him saying.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Pomerantz said on Monday that prosecutors would provide flight logs that had the names of Maxwell and some of the alleged victims, according to Reuters.

Bobbi Sternheim, Maxwell's defense attorney, said on Monday said there was nothing "inherently wrong with having private jets," in response to Pomerantz's statements.

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Maxwell is accused of helping Epstein recruit and sexually abuse underage girls.

A July 2020 indictment alleged that Maxwell and Epstein “exploited girls as young as 14, including by enticing them to travel and transporting them for the purpose of engaging in illegal sex acts” during the 1990s.

Prosecutors said in the indictment that Maxwell “played a critical role in the grooming and abuse of minor victims” in New York, Florida and New Mexico. They added that she acted while “knowing that Epstein had a preference for young girls.”

Sternheim, however argued, that she is being made a “scapegoat for a man who behaved badly,” according to The Associated Press. “The charges against Ghislaine Maxwell are for things that Jeffrey Epstein did, but she is not Jeffrey Epstein,” Sternheim said.

The highly anticipated trial comes more than two years after Epstein committed suicide in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Four accusers, in addition to former Epstein employees and family members of victims, are set to testify in the trial, which is expected to last until at least January.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to six counts of sex trafficking as well as other charges stemming from crimes allegedly committed between 1994 and 2004.